Columbia Sportswear has announced it’s hiring — not just for a typical retail or marketing job, but for a position you’ve never heard of: Director of Toughness.
The Portland, Oregon–based manufacturer wants to hire two adventurers for what might be best described as every outdoor athlete’s dream job: travel the world, get free gear, and test it all day in the most rugged locations. “Columbia’s products are tested daily in our Pacific Northwest backyard, and around the world,” says Wayne Young, Columbia‘s senior director of HR. “We thought it was time that this testing process received its time in the spotlight, so we are creating these new roles to showcase the lengths our employees go through to ensure our products keep people comfortable, regardless of the conditions.”
The Director of Toughness role is just like any other full-time job, with benefits including a salary of $26,000, paid bi-monthly from September 2015 to March 2016, health benefits, paid time off, and retirement savings. The extra perks that make it completely different from your 9-to-5 gig are the additional housing in Portland and travel accommodations the employees receive during their stint.
But the idea is to make them earn it. The itinerary hasn’t been finalized, but most of the travel during the six months will be in North America, and will also take place abroad, into harsh and remote territory. “We want to put our gear to the ultimate test, so imagine the most extreme environments around the world: If it’s freezing, sweltering, windy, and wet, our directors will likely be there,” Young says. “In short, they shouldn’t count on too many days tanning in sunny San Diego.”
The hiring process opened Monday, and anyone can apply on the Columbia careers page through August 31. Young says the faint of heart need not apply, though. “This is an experience of a lifetime. We’re looking for two outgoing, personable outdoor enthusiasts committed to going above and beyond physical limits and personal expectations to guarantee that our apparel and gear keeps people warm, dry, cool, and protected in any weather or geographic situation. We are seeking those who possess perseverance, creativity, and an irrepressible spirit to help them survive, thrive, and, most importantly, expertly share their journey across unusual and challenging environments.” That means lots of camping, trail snacks, and trail navigation as opposed to a comfy roller chair and a catered lunch.
The two finalists will be unveiled on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the final round of interviews in September, and will immediately go out into the field to take their places as the Directors of Toughness.